By Fasilat Lawal

For better understanding of mental health among Nigerians, there is a need for more advocacy and sensitization.

A Professor of Medicine, Babatunde Salako made the assertion to commemorate the 4th Jemila Abubakar Memorial Essay, JAME and Award Ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Professor Salako who was the Chairman on the occasion, said mental health is wealth, and described mental disorder as a psychological disease which could be a result of accumulated stress in the body.

“Mental health has to do with how you manage stress, your emotion, your response to situation. They see only people who roam the streets as people who have mental health issues but there are millions of people who don’t roam the streets, but whose response to events of life sometimes put them on the edge”

Professor Salako, who is also the Director General of the Nigeria Medical Institute, Yaba , Lagos state, urged Nigerians to ensure they always check on the wellbeing of their loved ones particularly during this hardship period, calling on the youths to emulate the exemplary life of Late Jemila Abubakar having spent years to impact positively on the society.

In a keynote address, a former lawmaker, who represented Afijio State Constituency, Mr Seyi Adisa maintained that solution to mental health issues should be a collective effort, lauded the convener Of Asido Foundation for the recognition and award of Excellence saying, the gesture would spur the winners of the essay competition to be Advocates of Mental Health.

“I think there is a need for more advocacy, more awareness about mental health especially at workplaces, ignorance has played a big part, there is a lot of work in our hands to direct how people see mental health”.

The Convener of a Non-Governmental Organization, Asido Foundation, who is also a Lecturer at the Department Of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan, Dr Jibril AbdulMalik explained that the aim of the event was to celebrate, remember and to appreciate the Late Jemila Abubakar, who was the pioneer program manager of the Foundation for her selfish service to humanity and a role model to younger generation.

“Late Jemila Abubakar took the role for free as a volunteer, part of the reason we feel a sense of obligation to her memory is because in her short life, she achieved so much such a legacy and we want to hold her up as a model for the younger generation. It is not about how long in life it is about the impact“ he added.

The Event featured presentation of Awards to the Top 15 2023 JAME Awardees and Investiture Ceremony Awards Of Patrons to some dignitaries.


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